Well, here's something we didn't expect -- but perhaps should have. With our city's growing love for craft beers and Asian fusion cuisine (thank you Kogi), it was only a matter of time before we had a place to watch a playoff game, drink a pitcher of St. Bernardus and eat tempura battered French fries. No, this isn't some trendy, publicist-driven spot in West Hollywood designed by Kristofer Keith. This is a modern, Korean (and indoor) twist on a classic German biergarten, right in Koreatown.
Owner Neil Kwon, who's parents have been running L.A. Korean restaurants for years, decided to open Biergarten when thinking back on his backpacking trip through Germany at the tail-end of college. "Hollywood, Downtown, it's great. But it's usually classic sausages or classic hamburgers. I wanted to see if I could do it with fusion flavors." The result is a bar with wine, sake, soju and most importantly, 25 beers on tap. Some of the taps will rotate, but for the most part, expect a steady stream of Belgian, German and U.S. craft offerings. "I didn't want to alienate the Korean customers, but I also didn't want to have the same kind of Korean bar that you see around town."
The menu is headed up by chef Karen Kang, who has previously worked for Zip Restaurant and also built the menu at Gaam Lounge in Koreatown. It includes dishes like the now-ubiquitous Korean tacos and quesadillas; two different styles of wings; a whole beer can chicken, carved table-side; seafood stir fry; and shrimp tempura. All of the items -- obviously, happily -- are meant to go with booze.
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Biergarten soft opened on March 15th. They are open every day from 5 p.m. - 12 p.m., with extended hours coming at a later date. Happy hour is from 5 p.m.-8 p.m., with all food at half price.
Biergarten: 206 N. Western Ave., Koreatown, (323) 466-4860.